Monday, September 26, 2016

Masters Of Deceit - Hensley's Electric Jazz Band And Synthetic Symphonette (1969 us, amazing psych jazz prog rock, 2001 hard sleeve release)

Masters of Deceit were an Indianapolis band that had its only release, “Hensley’s Electric Jazz Band & Synthetic Symphonette” on the highbrow east coast major label Vanguard Records.

Led by keyboardist Tom Hensley, who also handled most of the vocals, the band also included Steve Blum on guitar, Gary Campbell, bass and vocals, and Stan Gage on drums.  I believe the record was recorded in NYC.

Soon afterwards, Hensley relocated to Los Angeles and became a successful session keyboardist, playing with many big names, including Neil Diamond, Helen Reddy, Cher, David Cassidy, The Carpenters–to name but a few.

The Masters of Deceit LP is relatively obscure today.  Original LP copies can be found for less than $50 but are not common.

Musically, Masters of Deceit occupy an end of 60’s/beginning of 70’s transitional niche, drawing from psychedelia, jazz-rock and progressive rock.   If you’re a fan of such genres, you’ll likely find a lot to like here.
1. Shining (Tom Hensley, Cradoc Bagshaw) - 4:31
2. Boxes - 4:52
3. The Grand Illusion (Tom Hensley, Cradoc Bagshaw) - 3:34
4. The Long Hard Journey - 7:22
5. Mirror - 4:32
6. Pieces/ Together/ Pieces - 15:09
All songs by Tom Hensley except where noted

The Masters Of Deceit
*Tom Hensley - Organ, Clavinet, Piano, Vocals
*Gary Campbell - Bass, Vocals, Tenor Saxophone
*Stan Gage - Drums
*Steve Blum - Guitar, Bass

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  1. This is something that I never heard about.Interesting album,worth listen.Thank you...

  2. An interesting recording. Never knew that it had been re-released for the digital age. Thanks.

  3. This really caught me by surprise...was this really recorded in 1969? Some of the music sounds like King Crimson or even 70s RIO albums, excellent! The songs are perhaps not that memorable but the playing is always excellent (great drums!). Band's name, album title, and the goofy cover - I expected some boring, dated, mediocre music - none of that, it's great!
    Thank you for posting this, I had no idea this album existed.